Preparing for the millennial workforce

We've all seen the headlines: the millennial workforce is fast approaching, and bringing significant change along with them. The fact is, many businesses may not be ready to take advantage of these younger workers.

Preparation is key, and with the right information it's going to be easy to manage the younger generation, and even use their skills and approaches to better the business.

What tomorrow's leaders think of business

In a recent survey, Deloitte asked 7,800 millennials from 29 countries their thoughts on current business, effective leadership and how companies impact society. The answers show that companies will need to start thinking about adapting for the new generation.

A substantial 75 per cent of millennial respondents thought businesses were currently too focused on their own agendas instead of improving society. What's more, just 28 per cent said their current place of employment was fully utilising their skills.

"The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today's millennials  are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits," said CEO of Deloitte Global, Barry Salzberg.

"These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community, particularly in developed markets, that they need to change the way they engage millennial talent or risk being left behind."

What can businesses do?

Likely on the minds of many business leaders is what approach can be taken to manage this younger workforce. PricewaterhouseCoopers also released a report, which identified the areas employers should consider focusing on.

It found opportunities for career progression, competitive wages (and other financial incentives) and excellent training all ranked at the top of the list of the younger staff. These are in line with the desires of other generations of workers, and are easy to handle.

Where companies are likely to struggle, however, is in adjusting their culture to suit the next generation of staff. As Deloitte noted, millennials place a high degree of importance in how their employer works with the community, and using the skills staff bring to the table.

Companies should start to think about this new generation now, ahead of further millennial influx in the workforce. Aside from the workforce, it can also be a good idea to turn to capable business management software, a useful tool for everything from managing customers through to job management.